On April 11 2012 the Board of Equal Treatment ruled in two cases on age discrimination. Both cases concerned employers which had advertised for applicants within specific age groups.

The first case involved a job advertisement in which an employer was searching for a young journalist. It appeared from the advertisement that the applicant had to be between 23 and 33 years of age. The board found that this was contrary to the prohibition against advertising for applicants of a certain age. It was irrelevant that the employer had actually invited applicants above the age of 40 to the job interview.

The other case involved a 28-year-old woman whose job application for a position as a receptionist was rejected. It seemed from the job advertisement that the employer was looking for applicants between the ages 30 and 40, which again the board found to be contrary to the prohibition against advertising for applicants of a certain age.

The job applicant had proven facts which could lead to the assumption that the employer had exercised direct discrimination. The employer stated that it had been expressed internally that the job applicant was a potential candidate. According to the employer, the applicant was not invited for an interview as there were many better-qualified applicants and because the job applicant had not demonstrated her linguistic skills and experience in reception work in her application.

However, the board did not find that this information alone was sufficient to prove that the job applicant's age had not - wholly or partly - influenced the decision not to offer her employment. The board found that the job applicant was entitled to compensation of Dkr25,000.

These decisions show that the mere statement in a job advertisement that an employer is looking for applicants of a certain age group is contrary to the Anti-discrimination Act, even if the employer invites applicants who fall outside the stated age group to the job interview. Moreover, advertising for applicants of a certain age will give rise to a presumption of discrimination if an applicant is not offered the job.

For further information on this topic please contact Tina Reissmann at Plesner by telephone (+45 33 12 11 33), fax (+45 33 12 00 14) or email ([email protected]).